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Man sentenced for crash that killed teen

By: Brittany Pelletz Email
By: Brittany Pelletz Email

A Franklin County judge sentenced a man today who caused a crash that killed a teenager.

Kevin Butler says he was speeding and talking on his cell phone when he slammed into 17-year-old Trista Shoemaker's car last year.

For reckless homicide the judge sentenced Butler to five years, and for assault in the fourth degree, he received 12 months.
As part of a plea deal, a judge gave Butler a diversion sentence for five years.

Butler will have to comply with several regulations for five years. He has to complete 250 hours of community service, which includes speaking to students about the dangers of distracted driving and taking part in public service announcements. He will also have to pay $500 to a crime victims fund, in addition to staying drug & alcohol free.

If after five years, Butler completes all the conditions of his diversion sentence, a judge can then waive jail time.

Butler made no comment during the hearing, but his attorney spoke on his behalf.

No one from the victim's family was in attendance.

Butler pleaded guilty to reckless homicide.

Judge Wingate told Butler how Shoemaker's death had a big impact on his own family, as his daughter was a close friend of hers, "I don't know if I have ever seen my daughter cry like that. I mean it was very traumatic and you need to definitely do that community service. Do you understand that Mr. Butler?"

Butler's attorney, Hadden Dean says Butler has expressed his apology to the family of Shoemaker in private,"When they met Kevin, I think they accepted his apology. It was very difficult. Everybody was emotional, me included."

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